Temple of Offering is excited to announce we will be hosting our first art exhibit ever! One of our favorite artists and customers is Colleen O'Brien. Colleen is a Texas native, currently residing in New Mexico. She has agreed to make a special trip home to San Antonio to partner with us for her upcoming show during the month of March.
Opening night celebrations are scheduled for March 7, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Colleen will be onsite to share her story and engage with attendees. The event is free in open to the public! For her opening night we have invited local pizza makers and personal friends from Il Forno to set up a temporary pop-up outside the store, where art patrons can purchase a pizza (or two). Come join us for a grown up pizza party and art show!
We were fortunate enough to interview Colleen regarding her work and personal connection to San Antonio.
Temple of Offering: Where do you consider home?
Colleen: I grew up in San Antonio, Texas and have spent the majority of my life there with my family. It is definitely home. The other place I consider home is Lubbock, Texas. I lived there for about seven years and feel the most at peace when I’m there. There’s a well known architect in Lubbock, Upe Flueckiger, who talks about Lubbock being 80% sky and 20% earth. There’s something about the expansive flat red earth underneath the wide view of the West Texas sky that feels physically free.
Temple of Offering: You recently moved to New Mexico. What do you love most or miss most about living in San Antonio.
Colleen: I miss the heat. 100 degree days are my favorite. I also miss the wide variety of plants you can see all over the city, especially along the riverwalk and in the King William area. I miss the people of San Antonio. The city is very friendly. I really miss swimming in the Guadalupe River and hiking Enchanted Rock especially at sunset when it sparkles in neon orange and pink hues.
Temple of Offering: Tell us about your rock rubbings and earth surface process.
Colleen: I hike out and find exposed rocks or boulders. I lay my canvas down and collect a small amount of soil from the site. I mix the soil with water and allow the mud to roll through and follow the erosion paths of the boulder or rockbed. After I get a base level recording of the rock, I select compressed pigments from my pack that in some way reflect my surroundings. Cold snowy days in the Jemez Mountains call for softer colors than bright sunny days on the Guadalupe River. Using these pigments, I hit the hard high points and select key features to finish out the piece.
I have made these rock surface recordings in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. A lot of times, especially when I was living in San Antonio, I found myself in the middle of a river. Some of my favorite pieces are from the Guadalupe River. I love spending the day moving my hands repetitively through water and soil across soft weathered river rocks. It is wonderfully mediative to be completely immersed in the sounds of cicadas harmonizing in the sun overlayed with the sounds of rushing water.
In 2012, during a hike through Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, I became enamored with all the lichen growths on rocks. They were in such a wide range of colors. The way their shapes overlapped each other reminded me of abstract paintings. Back at my campsite, incredibly inspired, I created my first rubbing using rocks and dirt to create a map of the rock and oil paint to recreate the lichen growths. The process has really evolved since then.
Temple of Offering: What else would you like folks to know about you?
Colleen: I love being outside. Each of these pieces are a record of time spent outside enjoying the day--on a cliff’s edge or in the middle of a river, sometimes in the snow or in 100 degree heat, and other times with cicadas playing their tunes or with giant mountain lion paw prints nearby. They are a record of a geological moment as well as a great day spent outside.
We hope you will all make a point to stop by on March 7th! If you are unable to attend, Colleen's exhibit will run throughout the month of March. The public may access her work every day from 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. during our expresso popup hours. Appointments for a private viewing of her work outside of business hours can be made with Temple of Offering. Call us or DM us on Instagram (@templeofoffering) to schedule a private viewing!